Category: | The Writing Life

NaNoWriMo 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016I’ve never done NaNoWriMo. At least, not really. And I’ve been losing sleep over whether I should join up for NaNoWriMo 2016.

Previous NaNoWriMo Fails

The main reason I’ve never participated is that, since I’ve been aware of the challenge, I’ve been trying to finish this damn novel and I was hesitant to start something new. Continue Reading →

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The Elevator Pitch

elevator pitchIn the time since I started my novel, I have honed my elevator pitch. After eight years working on it, I thought I was getting pretty good at it. Every time someone asked “so, what’s your novel about?” I practiced giving them the short version. But turns out – I’ve been doing it wrong.

Here’s what I usually say: It’s a story about a young woman who inherits her grandfather’s ostrich farm in the mojave.

Short, sweet, to the point. But from what I learned at the WOTS conference last weekend, plot is only half of it. And it’s the least important half. I’ve left out the emotional story entirely. How did I not realize this? Continue Reading →

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My Time at Write on the Sound 2016

Write on the Sound 2016

I just got back from attending the Write on the Sound 2016 conference, about 15 miles north of Seattle in Edmonds.

I will admit to being a little skeptical. My dad and I chose the conference because it was conveniently located – quite possible the worst reason to choose a writing conference. I flew into Spokane, he picked me up and we had a little road trip out to Seattle where we stayed with some dear friends.

But it turns out, WOTS is a pretty great little conference. I say little. There were about 200 people there. My dad felt like it was huge. But the last conference he went to was the Idaho Writers Conference, which had about 50 people. The last conference I went to was AWP which had about 1200 attendees. So I guess “small” comes down to perspective. Continue Reading →

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Write on the Sound

I am super excited to report that tomorrow morning, bright and early, I am hopping on a plane to the great northwest for the Write on the Sound conference just outside Seattle. I’m actually flying into Spokane, and my dad is picking me up there as he drives west from northern Idaho. It’s a double whammy of writing time and dad time.

My Pops

Adventures of a Helicopter Pilot - Write on the SoundIn case you don’t know, my dad published his first book, a memoir, couple years ago: The Adventures of a Helicopter Pilot: Flying the H-34 helicopter in Vietnam for the United States Marine Corps. He worked on it for years and years, and the reception has been so great that he’s been inspired to write the sequel about his time as a helicopter pilot in Air America. Writing has become one of the main things we talk about, and so we figured it was time to go to a conference together.  Continue Reading →

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Why Blogging Matters

In the many years that I’ve been blogging, I have had more than a couple discussions with other writers about why (and in fact if) blogging matters.

Why Blogging Matters

Yes, you hear all the time about how writers need to build up their platforms, blah, blah, blah. From what I’ve observed, if you start a blog to build your platform, you’ll last about a month. But, if you love writing (and if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you do), consider that your blog is a venue for you, by you. How cool is that?  Continue Reading →

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Submit Your Stories to the Right Journals

submit-right-journal-for-youIn a previous post, I shared my free, downloadable spreadsheet for keeping track of where you submit your short stories. But when you download it, you will find yourself looking at a blank sheet. No one can tell you which are the right journals for your story. You have to decide that on your own. But how do we decide, as writers, where to submit our work? Continue Reading →

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The Final Ten Percent

final ten percent editingIf you follow along, you know I am working on two novels right now. The first I began years ago as my thesis project for my masters in writing at USC. It’s actually not too far from done, but at the beginning of the summer I stuck it in a drawer just to take a break from it and get a little perspective (as per the advice of super-writer Mark Sarvas). Continue Reading →

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